AUG 09, 2017 03:17 PM PDT

Penetrating Cancer Clusters With Nanoparticles

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
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The image described in the video above won Liang Hao a Koch Institute Image Award. She works in a lab that focuses on the use of nanoparticles to combat cancer. Hao is especially interested in pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease, and several factors confound its treatment. One therapeutic hurdle is the stromal barrier, which can physically prevent nanoparticles from reaching their intended target. Hao is trying to meet that challenge.

She has helped to create nanoparticles that can locate cancer cells and deliver cancer-killing drugs directly to them. These nanoparticles have different parts that allow them to achieve these goals, as described. The image shows the nanoparticles in yellow, which are sitting in pancreatic cancer cell clusters that are stained in pink. The researchers are thus able to study this system in three dimensions. This work may be the first time that a nanoparticle has gotten into a cluster of cancer cells, and will help bring nanoparticle therapeutics closer to the bedside.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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